New York Giants (3-3)
Baltimore Ravens - 23
New York Giants - 27
Next: Los Angeles Rams in London
As much as his behavior has drawn the ire of his Giants teammates this season, I can report that OBJ's hip injury has nothing to do with the swift application of a boot to the WR's posterior region. Beckham is reporting soreness from an injury that was sustained against the Ravens last week, causing to miss a series before returning to contribute the best game of his career.
His absence from the game this weekend in London would put a serious damper on the Giants chances, but given Odell's history as a competitor Rams coach Jeff Fisher is taking no chances. LA is expecting the New York receiver to be ready for action on Sunday.
Ed Valentine's weekly 'Five Things' posts is one of my must-read pieces to keep a finger on the pulse of the New York Giants. This week he gives us his thoughts on everything from the behavior or Odell Beckham, Jr. to the latest round of officiating inconsistencies around the league.
Odell Beckham, Jr is getting the bulk of the attention, both for his outstanding play and his immature behavior, but Justin Pugh has elevated his play along the New York offensive line, For the first time since joining the league, Pugh has found a home rather than finding himself being shuffled around among positions, and having just one job to do has paid off.
"It's been nice to be at that same position throughout the year, and be able to really build off that because I've been able to capitalize on some little nuances and little tricks of the trade. I'm able to learn week in and week out." - Justin Pugh
Last week Pugh stonewalled Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan and next up will be Aaron Donald from Los Angeles.
Washington Redskins (4-2)
Philadelphia Eagles - 20
Washington Redskins - 27
Next: @ Detroit Lions
One line from Chadiha's article sums up the state of the Washington Redskins:
This is still a team with enough flaws that it could implode at any moment. One of the best ways for Washington to avoid such a plight is by doing what it did on Sunday: keeping things simple and bullying opponents whenever possible.
The Skins can be a serious contended for the playoffs as long as they can keep Matt Jones healthy and eating up the yards the way he did against the Eagles last week. Washington rushed for 230 yards against the Philadelphia defense. That allowed them to keep the game clock moving and to minimize the exposure of the team's weaknesses. This concept should sound very familiar to Cowboys fans.
Since being victimized by the Dallas Cowboys in week two of the season, Washington has strung together victories in four straight contest including wins over division foes Philadelphia and New York. The formula for success is there for the Redskins, as long as they are able to execute and keep the pieces they rely on healthy.
Eleven seasons in the trenches of the National Football League will teach a man a thing or two about offensive line play, so when O'Hara talks highly of a specific OL unit, I pay attention.
This week, Shaun considers that the Redskins offensive line turned in an even more impressive performance against Philadelphia than their Cowboys counterparts did against Green Bay. While I disagree, having watched the games, I can concede that he has a valid argument.
Much like Ed Valentine at BBV, Rich Tandler is my go to source when looking at the Redskins. According to Rich the biggest improvement on the Redskins behalf has been the ability of the defense to get off the field. Through the first two losses of the season and their first and second wins the defense was being marched up and down the field pretty much at will. Over the past two games things have come together for the unit. A team that was giving up a league worst 56% conversion rate turned that all around. The past couple weeks they have been surrendering a first down just 24% of the time. That is a dramatic improvement and it has given Matt Jones, Kirk Cousins, and the offense more opportunities to work. The turn around is why the Redskins suddenly find themselves in contention.
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)
Philadelphia Eagles - 20
Washington Redskins - 27
Next: Minnesota Vikings
The Eagles were one of the NFL's last remaining undefeated teams, but the once high-flying squad has suddenly come crashing back to earth as they started to face some stiffer competition. Philadelphia will face its toughest test to date when the Minnesota Vikings come calling. The Vikings look to be the team to beat in the NFC this year as the season closes in toward the halfway point, and what once looked to be a showdown of top teams now looks more like David vs Goliath.
Rookie Carson Wentz is coming off of his worst outing last week against the Washington Redskins. Things don't look to get any better as Wentz will face a defense that is loaded at all three levels. Most concerning will be the Vikings ability to get in the young passer's face coupled with a Pro Bowl safety in Harrison Smith, who will likely be lined up all over the field playing mind games with the rookie.
Philadelphia traded away Sam Bradford, and now Doug Peterson's former quarterback is experiencing the success that he never found in his previous stops around the league. The Eagles will get an up close look at the player they traded away this weekend. The Eagles head coach recently stated that he expected this kind of performance out of Bradford regardless of the uniform he would wear this season.
"I was fully confident that he was going to have the type of success that he's having now with Minnesota. He came off the preseason with us here at an all-time high. He was throwing the ball with accuracy, with decisiveness, he was feeling comfortable with the offense." - Doug Pederson
Bradford's return to the City of Brotherly Love is the news of the week, but there are questions about who will gain the most from the familiarity between the Eagles and the one-time Philadelphia passer. Doug Pederson and Mike Zimmer, the opposing head coaches, have both downplayed the importance of the shared knowledge, although Zimmer does admit that Bradford has been working with the Minnesota defensive staff to gain an advantage. Similarly, Philadelphia's Malcolm Jenkins has a single-subject notebook on Bradford, as well as every other QB he has ever played with or against, and he has been reviewing it diligently looking for an advantage. Who will win? That's why they play the games on Sundays.
And As An Added Feature
The NFC East's resurgence has been a long time coming considering the East has been considered one of the worst divisions in football in recent years. It'll be a dog fight for the division crown between the four teams, but it's fair to say that who ever wins the division will be a very dangerous team in the playoffs.
The BEast is a combined 11-4 out of division, a good two games ahead of the AFC West, which is the second best in the league right now. I'll bet you did not see that one coming.